Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.
Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.
Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them…right?
Title: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating
Author: Christina Lauren
Published on September 4th 2018 by Gallery Books
Format: Paperback, 309 pages
After reading Christina Lauren’s Autoboyography, I was excited to read more of their books. Although Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating wasn’t as great as I was expecting, it was definitely the comical romance story I needed!
Josh, the more introverted MC, is a family focused and calm person. Hazel, on the other hand, is this extraverted bundle of joy; her little anecdotes made me laugh SO hard! Although they’re rather opposite, the chemistry between them still works, feeding off one another.
It was great to have a female lead who’s a little “unordinary”, according to societal standards. For once, I felt like I could relate to the MC. She’s so proud of her quirky and eccentric nature, not changing for anyone. She also calls people out on their ignorance, such as sexist remarks for comedic reasons. Her proud feminist vibes just resonated greatly with me.
I found myself skimming a lot, especially as the Groundhog Day vibes started to settle in. The book becomes this repetitive tone of date night, date night failing, Josh and Hazel having an intimate moment, Josh and Hazel disregarding their feelings for one another, to finally setting up another double date night. Though some of the dates are HILARIOUS, I just got tired of them going on for MONTHS without even discussing their feelings whatsoever. I would have rather had scenes in the book where Hazel and Josh go and do their own thing, date or otherwise.
This made the whole plot feel rather underwhelming, especially with an already predictable plot. I actually have no problems with predictable plotlines, but the monotonous nature of the story just made a lot of it rather dull.
Overall, I had a lot of fun reading Christina Lauren’s novel … I’m honestly going to miss Hazel and Josh’s comedic banter!
I recommend this novel if you enjoy: friends to lovers trope; rom-coms; interracial couples; strong female lead; feminism.